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On January 21, 2019, hundreds of Red Hatters across the U.S. gathered to commemorate the memory and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in their local communities. Red Hat’s Blacks United in Leadership and Diversity (B.U.I.L.D.) community coordinated the effort, partnering with Red Hat Global Workplace Solutions and the Red Hat People Team to coordinate service events at Red Hat locations across the country.
MLK Day events
From attending a memorial march in Raleigh, North Carolina to volunteering at area nonprofits in other locations across the U.S., more than 400 Red Hatters participated in acts of service honoring Dr. King. They served food in soup kitchens, accepted donations at clothing drives, and packed kits of food, toiletries, and school supplies—all to emulate the vision and service of the revered civil rights leader.
“A day on, not a day off”
At Red Hat, MLK Day is not a company holiday. We instead observed it as a day of service and encouraged employees to participate in activities that help to foster connections within local communities and among Red Hatters themselves. What better way to honor Dr. King than by working to make our communities better and more inclusive?
Red Hat encourages associates to make a difference by giving back to the communities where they live and work. The day of service is just one of a number of opportunities for Red Hat associates to participate in activities that benefit their local communities, and recognize the contributions of individuals and groups who are a positive force for change.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. relied on collaboration and the power of community to help advance the cause of fair and equal treatment, and racial harmony. At Red Hat, our culture is deeply rooted in the equality of voices and the open exchange of ideas. Our culture grows and thrives by recognizing and encouraging different viewpoints and ideas, and providing an open and inclusive environment to share them. Diversity and inclusion inspires, influences, and educates. Diverse viewpoints challenge our assumptions and help us gain a better understanding of the world around us.
About Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is recognized as a day for celebrating diversity and inclusion, and acknowledges the life and accomplishments of the civil rights leader. A Nobel Peace Prize winner at the young age of 35, Martin Luther King Jr. spent his entire adult life fighting for the civil rights of black Americans. MLK Jr. Day is a federal holiday in the U.S., but King’s influence on society today is recognized around the world.
You can read more about Martin Luther King Jr.’s life on History.com.
“The time is always right to do what is right.”
—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Oberlin College Commencement speech, 1965
Blacks United in Leadership and Diversity is a diversity and inclusion community that exists to promote diversity, and works to foster a connected community of black Red Hatters and their allies. Formed in 2015, and launched as B.U.I.L.D. in 2017, the group organizes and coordinates outreach events, and partners with youth groups, community centers, and technology groups. It works to support Red Hat in its ongoing commitment to nurturing and expanding the diversity of its workforce.
B.U.I.L.D. encourages open discussion among blacks at Red Hat by sponsoring internal activities to help black associates and their allies share experiences, interests, and challenges. The community also supports outreach and engagement activities with historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), black student groups, and other local organizations by providing sponsorship, mentorship, and exposure to open source principles.
Special thanks to the following organizations who helped make our day of service a success:
About the author
Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies.